Since lymphedema is a chronic condition, it must be managed over a lifetime. NYU Langone doctors and rehabilitation experts provide ongoing support for people with lymphedema. This includes monitoring the effectiveness of lifestyle modifications, which can help alleviate symptoms and prevent them from worsening.
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At NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, physiatrists, who specialize in rehabilitation medicine; physical therapists; and massage therapists, who are trained in manual lymphatic drainage, help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Our specialists have expertise in breast cancer rehabilitation, which can help women regain flexibility, strength, and aerobic conditioning after treatment.
At NYU Langone, experts collaborate on a research program called The Optimal Lymph Flow, which is designed to lower risk of lymphedema after breast cancer treatment and help people to manage symptoms related to lymph fluid buildup.
The program uses research-driven, self-care behavioral strategies to prevent or manage symptoms. It targets the risk factors for lymphedema, including problems with the lymphatic system, infections, and a body mass index, or BMI, higher than 25 to help women reduce their risk of lymphedema.
Limbs are measured with infrared perometry, which uses light instead of X-rays to measure the volume and shape of an affected arm or leg.
The program includes daily exercises that help promote lymph flow and drainage, exercises to improve mobility, and education on nutrition and exercise. Experts communicate with women enrolled in the study, collecting data and disseminating information through technology, including computers, tablets, and smartphones.
NYU Langone doctors understand that lymphedema can cause emotional strain. Your physician can refer you to a social worker or a psychologist at Rusk Rehabilitation who can counsel you on managing symptoms of depression or anxiety.
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